By Matt Fraction (Writer), Greg Land (Pencils), Jay Leisten (Inks), and Justin Ponsor (Colors)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: It seems like nearly every month I wonder why I continue to purchase Uncanny X-Men. It’s as if I face the same irritations every time I read an issue. The story threads are too chopped up, the artwork is in a divisive style, and the arcs as a whole feel somewhat scattershot. While I don’t find the series to be bad or anything, I’ll be the first to admit that there are better comics I could be spending my money on.
The Story: Madelyn Pryor, Cyclops’ former lover, is back and looking to make good use of a captured “X” character. With the help of Spiral, Chimera, and Lady Deathstrike, she raids a cemetery to get just the body she needs. Meanwhile, Beast introduces the final member of his science team and lays out the current situation of mutantkind. Also, Wolverine does some recruiting and Emma attempts to teach the recently rescued Russian women.
What’s Good: You have to give Matt Fraction credit for being able to successfully cram so much of the “X” universe into one issue without too much confusion. He makes good use of the powers, personalities, and storylines that make up the mutant ‘verse and the series is all the better for it. Even those unfamiliar with the characters (or confused by Greg Land’s artwork) will feel sufficiently in the loop thanks to Fraction’s clever (occasionally annoying) information boxes. I mention that because Uncannny X-Men #508 is definitely juggling a whole hell of a lot at once….
What’s Not So Good: …And, unfortunately, the entire issue suffers because of it. Quite frankly, the whole thing is just incredibly frustrating to read and look at. That said, in truth, I like the storylines in play for the most part. What I don’t like is the way they are being chopped up into tiny little pieces that rarely feel satisfying. While the latest Uncanny moves plot threads forward more successfully than some of the previous issues, every one of them still feels incredibly stunted when left dangling for next month. In other words, from a story perspective I was left wanting more, but more because things felt incomplete and unsatisfying as opposed to them being genuinely compelling. Allow me to share an example…
During one scene, Wolverine learns of something over the phone and reacts by yelling out and unsheathing his claws. The next time we see Wolvie, he’s totally cool with everything and busy doing some recruiting for the team. Now what bothers me is that there was absolutely zero explanation about (or even mention of) his outburst at any other time in the issue. While it’s easy to draw a conclusion to what caused his reaction, there is no reason given in the book for why the reaction was warranted. I presume it is being left for next month, but for the time being I have to react with a big old “WTF?”
Want to know something else that is not so good? The artwork. While I think Uncanny is one of the better fits for Greg Land’s style considering how “talky” it can be, it would be nice to see the work manage to keep things consistent or appropriately detailed for more than a few pages at a time. The inks and colors do little to help matters either, as I think they definitely contribute to the consistency and detailing problems.
Conclusion: Uncanny X-Men #508 scores points for personality and effort, but ultimately winds up being far more frustrating than fun.
Filed under: Marvel Comics, Reviews | Tagged: Angel, Beast, Chimera, Colossus, Comics, Cuckoos, Cyclops, Domino, Dr. Nemesis, Emma Frost, Graymalkin, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Justin Ponsor, Kyle Posluszny, Lady Deathstrike, M-Day, Madelyn Pryor, Matt Fraction, Mutants, Nightcrawler, Northstar, Psylocke, Reviews, San Francisco, Scarlet Witch, Spiral, Uncanny X-Men, Uncanny X-Men #508 review, WCBR, Weekly Comic Book Review, weeklycomicbookreview.com, White Queen, Wolverine, X-Men, X-Men | Leave a Comment »